STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

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STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Kyle Evans
Can avrdude and the STK500 write to a stand-alone EEPROM chip, for
something like flashing coreboot onto a motherboard EEPROM chip.

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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Michael Hennebry
On Fri, 7 Aug 2015, Kyle Evans wrote:

> Can avrdude and the STK500 write to a stand-alone EEPROM chip, for something
> like flashing coreboot onto a motherboard EEPROM chip.

Probably not.
avrdude and STK500 are for AVRs and use their protocols.
A stand-alone EEPROM will probably not use the same protocol.
That said, if the EEPROM is made  by Atmel, it might use the same protocol.
One can always check the specs.

--
Michael   [hidden email]
"SCSI is NOT magic. There are *fundamental technical
reasons* why it is necessary to sacrifice a young
goat to your SCSI chain now and then."   --   John Woods

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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Kyle Evans
On 08/07/2015 03:42 PM, Michael Hennebry wrote:

> On Fri, 7 Aug 2015, Kyle Evans wrote:
>
>> Can avrdude and the STK500 write to a stand-alone EEPROM chip, for
>> something like flashing coreboot onto a motherboard EEPROM chip.
>
> Probably not.
> avrdude and STK500 are for AVRs and use their protocols.
> A stand-alone EEPROM will probably not use the same protocol.
> That said, if the EEPROM is made  by Atmel, it might use the same protocol.
> One can always check the specs.
>

By protocol do you mean command set? They both support SPI and ISP. The
data sheet for the chip has all of the commands, but I have not yet
found any related material in any of the documentation that I have for
the STK500. Which, is kind of why I'm fishing to see if anyone has tried
this. My next step is to compile avrdude and see what I find.

I read that the Raspberry Pi can do it. I have one of those too, but I'd
rather have something more robust than a socket floating in mid air
wire-wrapped to some pins on the Rpi.

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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Axel Wachtler


Am 08.08.2015 um 21:32 schrieb Kyle Evans:
> I read that the Raspberry Pi can do it. I have one of those too, but I'd
> rather have something more robust than a socket floating in mid air
> wire-wrapped to some pins on the Rpi.
>
One idea that comes to my mind is: you can try to wire a connection
between the RPI and the STK500. Best would be to use the STK500 w/o
power-supply (5V@STK500 vs 3.3V@RPI) - and use it as a socket breakout
board.

However I'm not sure if this is worth the time, it might be better to
make a small PCB (e.g. for RPI) for that particular purpose. A
mechanical stable solution could look so:
http://www.mikronauts.com/raspberry-pi/raspberry-pi-i2c-eeprom-gang-programmer/

Cheers, Axel.



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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Michael Hennebry
In reply to this post by Kyle Evans
On Sat, 8 Aug 2015, Kyle Evans wrote:

> On 08/07/2015 03:42 PM, Michael Hennebry wrote:
>> On Fri, 7 Aug 2015, Kyle Evans wrote:
>>
>>> Can avrdude and the STK500 write to a stand-alone EEPROM chip, for
>>> something like flashing coreboot onto a motherboard EEPROM chip.
>>
>> Probably not.
>> avrdude and STK500 are for AVRs and use their protocols.
>> A stand-alone EEPROM will probably not use the same protocol.
>> That said, if the EEPROM is made  by Atmel, it might use the same protocol.
>> One can always check the specs.
>>
>
> By protocol do you mean command set? They both support SPI and ISP. The data
> sheet for the chip has all of the commands, but I have not yet found any
> related material in any of the documentation that I have for the STK500.
> Which, is kind of why I'm fishing to see if anyone has tried this. My next
> step is to compile avrdude and see what I find.

More or less.

SPI is just a hardware specification for moving bits around.
It says nothing about how those bits are interpreted.
AVR ISP is SPI with a particular interpretation of the bits.
IIRC it is pretty much uniform for all AVR that accept it.

Quite probably one can do ISP with things that are not Atmel.
Different bit sequences would likely be required.

In the case of a chip mounted on an STK500,
there can be two protocols involved:
PC to STK500 and STK500 to chip (ISP).
AVR Studio understands PC to STK500.
STK500 understands ISP.
Also, the STK500 con be configured so that
ISP can be done directly by external hardware,
some of which can be controlled by avrdude.
IIRC avrdude understands PC to STK500.
avrdude also understands several other programmers.

I think that there are programmers that could be configured to do
what you want and that avrdude could be configured to control them.
Finding them and doing so is left as an exercise for the reader.
Deciding whether that is too much exercise
is also left as an exercise for the reader.

AFAIK the STK500 has no understanding of anything
other than AVR microcontrollers.

--
Michael   [hidden email]
"SCSI is NOT magic. There are *fundamental technical
reasons* why it is necessary to sacrifice a young
goat to your SCSI chain now and then."   --   John Woods

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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Kyle Evans
On 08/09/2015 12:31 PM, Michael Hennebry wrote:

> On Sat, 8 Aug 2015, Kyle Evans wrote:
>
>> On 08/07/2015 03:42 PM, Michael Hennebry wrote:
>>> On Fri, 7 Aug 2015, Kyle Evans wrote:
>>>
>>>> Can avrdude and the STK500 write to a stand-alone EEPROM chip, for
>>>> something like flashing coreboot onto a motherboard EEPROM chip.
>>>
>>> Probably not.
>>> avrdude and STK500 are for AVRs and use their protocols.
>>> A stand-alone EEPROM will probably not use the same protocol.
>>> That said, if the EEPROM is made  by Atmel, it might use the same
>>> protocol.
>>> One can always check the specs.
>>>
>>
>> By protocol do you mean command set? They both support SPI and ISP.
>> The data sheet for the chip has all of the commands, but I have not
>> yet found any related material in any of the documentation that I have
>> for the STK500. Which, is kind of why I'm fishing to see if anyone has
>> tried this. My next step is to compile avrdude and see what I find.
>
> More or less.
>
> SPI is just a hardware specification for moving bits around.
> It says nothing about how those bits are interpreted.
> AVR ISP is SPI with a particular interpretation of the bits.
> IIRC it is pretty much uniform for all AVR that accept it.
>
> Quite probably one can do ISP with things that are not Atmel.
> Different bit sequences would likely be required.
>
> In the case of a chip mounted on an STK500,
> there can be two protocols involved:
> PC to STK500 and STK500 to chip (ISP).
> AVR Studio understands PC to STK500.
> STK500 understands ISP.
> Also, the STK500 con be configured so that
> ISP can be done directly by external hardware,
> some of which can be controlled by avrdude.
> IIRC avrdude understands PC to STK500.
> avrdude also understands several other programmers.
>
> I think that there are programmers that could be configured to do
> what you want and that avrdude could be configured to control them.
> Finding them and doing so is left as an exercise for the reader.
> Deciding whether that is too much exercise
> is also left as an exercise for the reader.
>
> AFAIK the STK500 has no understanding of anything
> other than AVR microcontrollers.
>

I think I have clarity of the situation now, thanks.
I did some more digging in the manual, and found that the "spare" RS-232
port is, potentially, what I could use:

        "The other RS-232 can be used for communication between the target AVR
microcontroller in the socket and a PC serial port connected to the RS-232."

So, using the main RS-232 port is out of the question because the socket
is behind a proprietary interface and the firmware would not recognize
the device ID of my chip. However, the "spare" port bypasses this
interface and exposes the chip directly to the PC serial port.

AVRdude speaks to this proprietary interface, but also can speak RS-232
and could potentially be taught about my chip, but a better route would
be to get it working through flashrom, which already understands the
chip and can also speak RS-232.

I'll report back with my findings once I find my RS-232 cable, a spare
chip, and have done some testing.

Thanks,
Kyle

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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Stuart Longland-3
On 10/08/15 07:22, Kyle Evans wrote:
> So, using the main RS-232 port is out of the question because the socket
> is behind a proprietary interface and the firmware would not recognize
> the device ID of my chip. However, the "spare" port bypasses this
> interface and exposes the chip directly to the PC serial port.

Yes, it interfaces the TTL-level UART port on the AVR to the RS-232
level signals expected by your computer's serial port.

What runs over that UART interface depends on what code is running on
the AVR in the socket.

For example, you could figure out how to flash one of your EEPROMs using
GPIO pins on an AVR, and use that socket to allow you to connect the AVR
to your desktop computer, thus permitting some software to instruct the
AVR on how to flash the EEPROM.

It will *NOT* magically make a random chip "speak RS-232".

Computer mice and modems both use RS-232, yet you cannot plug a mouse
into your computer, type "ATDT01234567" and have your mouse start
dialling out to the Internet.  In fact all you'll do is confuse the
firmware in the mouse which won't have the foggiest clue what the Hayes
command set means.

RS-232 merely means they use a common control signal standard, namely
the use of a negative voltage signal to indicate a '1' and a positive
voltage for a '0'.  Nothing more.
--
Stuart Longland (aka Redhatter, VK4MSL)

I haven't lost my mind...
  ...it's backed up on a tape somewhere.

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Re: STK500 w/ EEPROM chips

Michael Hennebry
In reply to this post by Kyle Evans

An STK500 is not designed to deal with any stand alone EEPROM.
That said, you might be able to use it "off-label" as a breadboard.
If you have a breadboard,
the STK500's power supply might be the latter's only advantage.
Be sure that the DIP gets power and ground where needed and not elsewhere.
The STK500 has an external connection available for every pin.
To do what you want, you will need a programmer (hardware) that understands
the EEPROM and a PC program (software) that understands the programmer.

There might be generic programmers that avrdude
can use with the appropriate configuration file.
I think that avrdude assumes the AVR command set.
That means to make it go,
you would have to edit and recompile avrdude.
That might or might not be easier than starting from scratch.
If it's a SPI-based EEPROM that you are planning to use with an AVR,
presumably you know its command language.

It might be helpful to know what EEPROM is under discussion and what,
if any, software came with it.

All that said, it might be simpler to get
an AVR with enough EEPROM or to use its flash.

--
Michael   [hidden email]
"SCSI is NOT magic. There are *fundamental technical
reasons* why it is necessary to sacrifice a young
goat to your SCSI chain now and then."   --   John Woods

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